Welcome to the March 2020 issue of Window Film News.
After the Summer Australia just experienced, it’s little wonder we’re all left feeling a little shell-shocked. Fires, droughts, floods, gale force winds – Aussies copped blow after blow. WFAANZ extends our support to everyone in our tinting community and beyond who was impacted by these horrendous conditions. Our thoughts are with you.
Energy efficiency sells houses
Here’s one for your sales pitch. New research indicates properties with energy saving features like solar control window film could sell for as much as 10% more.
Dr Daniel Daly, a researcher at the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, reviewed Australian and other international studies to conclude homes with a higher energy saving rating can now sell for noticeably more.
Daniel makes a strong case for mandatory disclosure, saying there should be a requirement to disclose a home’s energy rating so those who had invested in the energy-saving features could benefit.
In the ACT (the only state where sellers MUST disclose their energy-efficiency rating) it’s estimated a 7 NatHERs star home could get $72,721 more than a comparable 3-star home, based on a median of $773,635.
First National CEO Ray Ellis has added his voice to the cause, calling for other States to follow ACT’s lead and make it compulsory for sellers to acquire and disclose a home’s energy efficiency. He cites an increase in buyers/renters who are querying a home’s energy efficiency.
Do home owners want mandatory disclosure? It would seem so. According to Energy Consumers Australia’s Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey from December 2019, residents across Australia are keen to see mandatory energy efficiency ratings on all houses for sale.
Never have climate change, energy efficiency and sustainability glared more brightly on the social and political landscape. In this environment, window tinters with WERS For Film accreditation stand to gain significant advantages. Armed with energy certification you can issue energy certificates, which energy assessors use when rating a home. You can also position yourself as an energy expert, a claim of vital impact as home owners search for ways to cleverly and inexpensively combat the rising cost of electricity. Read more here.
Trailer returns to Martin
Gold Coast tinter Martin Fitzgerald’s story will be familiar to those who follow WFAANZ on Facebook. Martin had a rough start to the year when his fully customised tinting trailer and all its contents was stolen on January 21.
The good news is that the boys in blue found the trailer, and Martin has it back. The bad news is that it was fully stripped, and completely empty when it was returned.
The trailer was stolen at 3am, under full lights and with 12 security cams on the thief.
When we heard, WFAANZ posted on Facebook urging tinters to share the story with colleagues so we could all be on the lookout for anyone trying to flog stolen gear or stock. Thanks to you all, the post reached 2,477 people.
Martin said, “Detectives said the social media publicity and news most likely lead to the recovery. The trailer (being so unique) had to be hidden, evidently not well enough. They think the rest (tools and stock) have been ditched. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that shared my posts and to the QLD Police and a huge thanks to you Ally at WFAANZ.”
Martin had built the trailer himself, over the years turning what was a recreational camper into an impressive mobile tinting workshop. It was fitted with cutting bench, water supply with filtered water lines, a Kings generator and brand new 3×3 marquee.
Adding insult to injury, when it was pinched the trailer was fully stocked for a massive job. Packed with rolls of film, ladder, hand tools, tools for tint removal, car jack and accessories, heat guns, leads and all the spares required for remote work locations.
Coronavirus advice from WHO
Is it safe to open packages, letters, stock, etc. from China in light of the Coronavirus outbreak? According to the World Health Organisation website:
“People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.”
Tiguan tint trouble
If an owner of a VW Tiguan come into your workshop wanting tint on the rear screen – would you do it? Many tinters wouldn’t to avoid potential dramas down the line.
The Tiguan Owner’s Manual advises against putting stickers of any kind on the inside surface of the rear screen, as removal of such could damage the window heating system.
So, before you touch the rear screen of a Tiguan – always advise your customer of this recommendation. If they still want to proceed, have them sign a waiver. If the film ever needs to be removed (for whatever reason) and the demister bars are damaged during the removal, the entire rear window may need to be replaced.
New section J update
Why should flat glass tinters care about the new Section J Energy Efficiency provisions in the National Construction Code (building code), coming into effect from 1 May 2020? Because they represent the most substantial reforms to energy efficiency in commercial buildings in nearly a decade, and will likely increase demand for high performance window products and spectrally selective glass options.
The new Section J provisions introduce a number of changes in how building energy usage is modelled.
The usage pattern of a building is now considered when determining energy use. Day-time usage buildings – shopping centres, offices and retail/commercial spaces – use energy very differently to night-time or mixed usage buildings – multiple dwellings (Class 2 common areas), hospitals and short-term accommodation.
From a heating, cooling and lighting perspective, passive heat gain is a key driver behind energy consumption in day-time usage buildings. So lower SHGC’s (higher TSER) will be specified in these instances (especially in warmer climate zones), and solar control glass types will become more predominant.
Another notable change is the former provisions for walls (J1) and glazing (J2) have been combined into Part J1, with target requirements specified for the ‘total façade’.
Window cleaner study
A recent Choice consumer group study of window cleaners reveals Windex window cleaning products the best by a ‘significant margin’. The test measured cleaning performance and how well the product dealt with streaking. Of course, when it comes to using products on tinted windows, the advice from Choice and film suppliers is to avoid those with ammonia, as they can damage the tint.
Leave it to the pros
Despite selling DIY film, this hardware store hired professional tinters to install opaque black film (right) and reflective film (left) on its front windows.
As we all know, the proper installation of window film is a precise and difficult job, one best left to the experts.
Exceptions to the rule?
In your State or Territory, can a car owner apply for an exemption from the VLT limit because of a medical condition like light sensitivity?
The rules are different in each State and Territory. WFAANZ approached the road and transport authorities to get to the bottom of the VLT medical exemption question, once and for all.
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads: Medical exemptions are possible to the VLT limit for certain conditions. The application would need to be supported by a statement from a medical practitioner attesting to the nature of the condition and making a case as to why a darker VLT would be medically beneficial. Application form F1854 would need to be completed, and in the REMARK section it should state something along the lines of “I apply for a medical exemption to the VLT limit due to (insert medical condition). Please see attached support documentation from my medical practitioner.” The VIN and rego number would need to be provided. The application would then be sent to the Vehicle Standards department. The department noted that the window film would need to be removed before the vehicle is sold.
Western Australia Department of Transport: Page four of the IB-119D Vehicle Safety and Standards Information Bulletin Window Tinting (Attaching film to surface of Glass) states that:
Medical Exemptions to this policy may also be granted on medical grounds subject to documentary evidence being provided from a medical specialist. Applications for an exemption should be addressed to: Vehicle Safety and Standards Department of Transport, 21 Murray Road South, Welshpool WA 6106, 13 11 56, fax 08 9216 389.
South Australia Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure: SA does not grant exemption from the VLT limits. The visibility through vehicles windows is deemed to be a safety issue and reduction of the VLT beyond the specified limits is not approved. The department stated, “There are films available that reduce the dangerous UV rays without the need to reduce the VLT beyond legal limits and these should be used rather than fitting darker tints.”
Tasmania Department of State Growth: Tasmanian legislation includes provision for the Transport Commissioner to issue exemptions from specific Tasmanian vehicle standards and vehicle operational requirements of which the luminous transmittance is included. The registered operator of a Tasmanian Registered vehicle can apply for an exemption. Initial enquiries and an approved application form are available from Vehicle Management Unit. Applications are assessed on a case by case basis with consideration for the specialist medical evidence required to determine the reasons for the exemption application.
Road safety is the key objective of setting the regulatory tint limits…The Transport Commission considers these aspects as part of the assessment process when determining exemption requests from the window tinting requirements. As such primary consideration is given to alternative options. If granted specific conditions of the exemption and registration of the vehicle are applied.
ACT, Access Canberra: According to the Vehicle Standards department, no provision for a VLT medical exemption is made in the regulations.
Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Logistics: A strong case may be made by a car owner, with compelling medical testimony regarding the medical condition. A written request can be made to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for consideration of an exemption. The request should be accompanied with a supporting report from a suitably qualified health professional that outlines the circumstances for the request and after exhausting other possible options. The provision of medical exemption is rare however, as the department maintains the 35% and 15% VLT limits allow for adequate UV protection.
New South Wales Roads & Maritime Services: WFAANZ spoke with the RMS technical department, and was informed there is an opportunity to apply for a medical exemption as there is a general provision in the NSW legislation which states:
11E NSW rule: Authority may exempt vehicle from requirement of Light Vehicle Standards Rules (cf 2007 reg Sch 2 cl 10)
(1) The Authority may exempt any particular vehicle or class of vehicle from any requirement of these rules.
(2) An exemption may be granted subject to conditions.
(3) The Authority may amend or revoke an exemption or a condition made or imposed in accordance with this rule.
These would be judged on a case by case basis. WFAANZ was advised by the Safety, Environment and Regulation division, Transport for NSW, to direct car owners to the Centre for Road Safety with such enquiries.
VicRoads: At the time of press, VicRoads Vehicle Safety & Compliance department unfortunately failed to answer the specific question posed by WFAANZ. Its response was following…
“VicRoads tinting requirements are found via the attached web link and the topic Amendment to Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations.”
Please note – neither the regulations nor the amendment notice mention medical exemptions. WFAANZ will alert our Victorian members as soon as this question is answered by VicRoads.
Remember – you can visit the WFAANZ website auto regulations page to download your State/Territory VLT regulations.
A customer with an outdoor pool fence (toughened glass) is looking to gain privacy with window film. He resides on the riverfront and council rules prevent many options to gain privacy from passers-by. Even if he tries an external film, the privacy factor wouldn’t really work due to the light factor being equal on both sides. Is that right?
Correct. Even dual reflective films which are reflective on the outside and low reflection inside will not work as well as when there are different light levels (with brighter on the non viewing side). The film would also need to be dark, which may contravene council regulations. Lastly, you would need to find an external-rated dual reflective film.
Frosted film may be the best option in this instance, but of course that means they can’t see through it.
How would you find out if a film is listed on the International Glazing Database (IGDB)?
From an AGWA technical advisor: The easiest way to find out if the film product is listed on the IGDB is by looking for that manufacturers listing on the IGDB release note from this link.
Once you are into the webpage, you will see different types of glazing under different manufacturers. Each glazing has the name as well as a unique IGDB number.
For more information follow this link.
Keep an eye on the release note as it updates frequently. Look at this website to know the latest version of IGDB.
What’s the difference between Low E 2 and Low E 3 windows?
References to Low E 2 (or Low E squared) and Low E 3 (or Low E cubed) have to do with the amount of Low E coatings applied to the glass. In the 1990s, window makers were adding a second metallic coating to create low-E2 windows. Then in 2010, manufacturers introduced low-E3 windows, which feature three coats of metal to further reduce solar heat transfer through the glass. This Homesguide story has more info.
Have you seen the WFAANZ fact sheets lately? Members can upload them to their websites to explain different aspects of film and address commonly asked questions. In using the WFAANZ materials you promote the fact you’re a member, and as such abide by an industry code of conduct.
Our last one about VLT regulations, Keeping it Legal, was one of our most downloaded fact sheets to date, with the Facebook announcement reaching over 10,300 different people.
I recently worked with a WFAANZ member, adding their logo to a fact sheet explaining how to clean a window with film, which he plans to give to every customer upon completion of the job. How about creating a leave-behind pack that also includes a soft, specialised, glass cleaning cloth and some info about other types of film? It’s all about improving your customer’s experience and encouraging repeat business.
Next on the slate is a privacy film fact sheet, which has been requested by a SA member. Let me know at email@example.com if you have a fact sheet idea or request.
SWMS template for members
Ever been asked for a SWMS? These days, Safe Work Method Statements are required on many commercial sites. If you don’t know where to begin, members can contact WFAANZ for a SWMS template.
Reminder to members – you can find all WFAANZ fact sheets, technical bulletins, templates, order forms, brochures, etc. in the member’s only area of the website.
If you do not have login information, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to WFAANZ
- Twin Cities Window Tinting, NSW
- Tint’d Window Film Solutions, VIC
- Dr Tint, VIC
- Excel Visual Solutions, NSW
- Wicked Tint, NSW
- Matt Bull Window Tinting, QLD
- A&C Classic Window Tinting, NSW
Free insurance review
Is your business insurance up for renewal? Instead of automatically renewing with your current provider, WFAANZ advises our members to give HWA a call for a free insurance review. Last year, numerous WFAANZ members shaved hundreds from their premiums by taking up this member offer. For more info contact HWA’s Renee Jackson on 03 9559 3306.
A reminder that WFAANZ produces 35% VLT cards, available for purchase through the secretariat. The cards are sold to tinters, police departments and automotive product retailers around the country. Members enjoy a significantly reduced rate.
Download an order form here.
Tint business for sale
Caroline Springs Tint A Car is up for sale. Perfectly positioned in a high growth area and visible from the main highway, the business has been successfully operating for 18 years in the auto and flat glass sectors. Sale includes the workshop, strong online presence, customer base, equipment, stock, comprehensive training and easy to learn systems. Massive potential for continued growth. Contact Sash for more information on 0425 844 040.
Brochures to complement your marketing kit
WFAANZ creates a range of materials designed to complement your marketing and sales kits – like these flat glass film brochures that 1300 Get Tint handed out from its display at the recent Brisbane Home Show.
Contact WFAANZ for more info.
The power of pictures
If you’re not already taking photos of the jobs you’ve worked on, now’s a good time to start. Good images are marketing currency these days. To maximise the reach of your pics, email them to me at email@example.com.
The image could feature in the WFAANZ website gallery with a link to your site, or in our Houzz listing, or on socials, or it could be turned into a newsletter or print media story.
Installation or finished product shots depicting cars, boats, cranes, houses, apartments, trucks, commercial sites, balustrades, doors, skylights, bathrooms, etc. – any job you’re proud of.